American Taylor Knibb enjoyed a dream season in 2021, her first year after finishing university. After not racing at all in 2020 due to COVID and injury, she blasted onto the Olympic scene with a win at World Triathlon Championship Series (WTCS) Yokohama, becoming the second woman to be named to the US Olympic squad and was part of the silver-medal winning mixed relay team in Tokyo. (She placed 16th in the individual race.) A few weeks after that she took second in her half-distance debut at Ironman 70.3 Boulder, then won the WTCS Championship Final in Edmonton. A week after that she wowed the triathlon world with the day’s fastest time at the Collins Cup, despite racing on a road bike. A few weeks after that she finished third at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship, then rounded out her season with a fifth-place finish at WTCS Abu Dhabi.
Knibb achieved her impressive summer results on a Specialized bike purchased for her by USA Triathlon. This year, though, the federation likely won’t have to spend much money on a bike for Knibb – she’s signed with the Trek Factory Racing team, joining the likes of Alex Yee, Tim O’Donnell, Holly Lawrence, Ben Kanute and Ellie Salthouse. The new deal also means we’ll see her racing on a triathlon bike at events like the Ironman 70.3 World Championship, one of the races she says she wants to key on along with the WTCS Championship final in Abu Dhabi.
“I’m super excited,” Knibb says about the new partnership. “First off, I’m getting a time trial bike. [Laughs]. That was one of the most frequently asked questions last year for me. But I’m also really excited that the team and I will get to ride SRAM. I love the wireless components. It’s just so much easier. Before 70.3 Worlds I got my battery stuck in the seatpost, and that took about three-and-a-half hours to get out. So when I get a new bike and it’s like, ‘Oh, you just take out these two batteries,’ I am so excited. And part of the thing is that I don’t know a ton about bikes in general. Yet. I’m not super meticulous about some of my choices. But I’m looking forward to learning and really maximizing both my short course setup and long course setup, because I feel like that’s an area where there’s untapped potential.”